MESSAGE OF SUPPORT BY
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Nongoma: 26 May 2018
His Worship the Mayor of Zululand District Municipality, Councillor Thulasizwe Buthelezi; His Worship the Mayor of Nongoma Local Municipality, Councillor Albert Mncwango; Amakhosi; Members of the Executive; Leaders of political parties; Indunas and Councillors; Municipal Managers; Heads of Departments; and members of this community.
Over the past few weeks the Mayor of Nongoma and his team have visited 21 wards to speak to every community about the IDP for the coming year. The IDP or Integrated Development Plan of the Local Municipality is a blueprint for good governance, development and service delivery. It explains what has been done and what will be done by your local representatives in the next 12 months.
I want to commend the Mayor of Nongoma because the IDP for this Municipality represents a good and workable plan. There is a sound balance between meeting immediate needs and planning for tomorrow, which allows development to take place. I am also pleased to see that the focus of Nongoma Municipality is on empowering the people it serves, enabling communities to become the drivers of development.
Today, the Mayor of the Zululand District Municipality has come to Nongoma to present the IDP and Budget for the whole District. This plan works in partnership with the IDP of the Local Municipality. The District Municipality supports, strengthens and assists its Local Municipalities to serve with excellence. So the success of Nongoma relies on both municipalities doing their jobs well.
I therefore listen with interest as the Mayor of Zululand speaks to us today. I know that this is the opportunity for us to engage the Mayor and his team, to ask questions, seek clarity, and find out how we can become part of driving solutions.
Local Government is unique in that it works closely with the people. Your Councillors live right here, in your community. They raise their families here and are invested in the wellbeing of their wards. So when they do their work in the Municipal Council, you can be sure that they know what you need, and they’re fighting to assist you.
Democracy works best and is strongest at local level. But to keep it working, we as citizens need to keep interacting with our representatives. That means talking to our Councillors and supporting the work they do on our behalf. It means holding them accountable and asking them for feedback. It also means meeting with our leadership in venues like this, so that the overarching plans for local government can be discussed and agreed upon.
I am here today as a citizen of Zululand. It matters a great deal to me that Zululand functions well and that the needs of our people are met. I am proud to be the leader of the IFP, knowing that the IFP has a strong partnership with the people of Zululand, and particularly with the people of Nongoma. I am grateful that you voted for the IFP in 2016 and that you gave the IFP your mandate in every single ward, asking us to govern Nongoma with the integrity you deserve.
But I am not here as a political leader, for this is not a political event. I am here as a citizen who cares about Nongoma. I have strong ties to this place through blood and history, and I am determined to see it prosper. So when those who administer local government visit Nongoma, I am eager to participate, so that I can see for myself that these leaders are indeed the kind of leaders Nongoma deserves.
I want to assure you that the people we chose to stand as Councillors have all made a commitment to serve. They are held accountable by the IFP, because they are our representatives. Thus they are responsible for fulfilling the promises we have made as a Party; promises to give you honest, clean, efficient governance that really works for you.
I must say that I am excited to see the progress of good governance in Nongoma under the leadership of our Mayor, Councillor Mncwango. I have known the Mayor for many years and I know him to be an exceptional leader, wholly committed to social justice and development. He cares deeply about the struggles and hardship of families, and he has worked for decades to alleviate suffering and create something better for the next generation.
I am proud to see him working hand in hand with our Mayor of Zululand, for together they can surely accomplish great things for Nongoma. I can say that both Mayors grew up in front of me and I have watched them grow into seasoned political leaders.
It is gratifying to know that politics doesn’t cast a shadow over this municipality. We don’t have to fight an uphill battle against political opponents who obstruct plans and projects for the sake of scoring points. Here in Nongoma, our political representatives are on the same page. They work with the same vision, towards the same goals, and they are backed by one political leadership that holds them accountable.
This is really encouraging, because the challenges in Nongoma are many. We need to be unified as we face the challenges of poverty, unemployment and a lack of opportunity. These things need to be tackled with wisdom and focus. But most importantly, they need to be tackled with integrity. When there is no integrity among leaders, money goes missing, resources are diverted, projects fail and the people are ignored. If we are to win the war on poverty, we need to make sure that every cent in the municipal budget achieves what it was allocated to achieve. We need good leadership and strong oversight, and we need to keep corruption far away from governance.
This is the real success story wherever the IFP governs. The principles that underpin our Party are brought to bear in our leadership at municipal, provincial and national level. Wherever an IFP leader works, corruption gets pushed out by integrity.
I often remind people that when Inkatha led the KwaZulu Government for 19 years, not a single allegation of corruption was ever levelled against my administration. We took that same legacy into the Government of National Unity and into the governance of KwaZulu Natal for the first ten years of democracy. Three IFP Premiers, Dr Frank Mdlalose, Dr Ben Ngubane and Dr LPHM Mtshali, governed this Province for ten years after 1994, with not a whiff of corruption.
It remains as the legacy of the IFP, and it is the same legacy we apply wherever we lead. We do this because we abhor corruption. Corruption is a cancer that steals food from our people’s mouths and education from our children. It destroys hope and opportunity. It shuts the door on development and keeps entire communities under the oppressive hardship of poverty and need. I cannot understand any politician being able to accept corruption.
Anyone who loves South Africa and wants to see our people thrive must take a stand against corruption. The terrible reality is that millions of Rands are wasted in local government through mismanagement and corruption. The Auditor General’s reports consistently warn how municipalities are failing when they should be the strongest cog in the democratic machinery.
I am always proud when an IFP-led municipality is applauded by the Auditor General, not only for visionary leadership and efficient administration, but most importantly for sound financial management, because if we’re working well with the resources we administer, then we’re doing a good job. Most things come down to money. We can’t maintain roads, or build classrooms, or start a youth skills programme, without money.
So if you want evidence of good leadership, look at how the money is spent. Here in Zululand, good leadership has been rewarded. Ulundi, for instance, was identified by the Premier’s Service Excellence Awards as one of the top 4 performing municipalities. Just like Nongoma, every ward in Ulundi elected the IFP to lead in 2016. Thus a leadership of integrity and the principles of service excellence are spreading throughout Zululand.
The Budget for this District and its IDP are really a battle plan. They show us how the war against hardship will be won. I am pleased to see that the empowerment of communities will take centre stage, so that self-help and self-reliance become possible.
I want to see the next generation with better opportunities than my generation had. I want to see every child obtain a good education, and have a chance at a dignified life. I want to see women walking safely in our communities, and no one going hungry. I want to see entrepreneurs able to access that first stepping stone to success, and small businesses helped to become profitable.
There is great potential among us. The biggest asset we have is our people. Within you lie the courage, the will-power and the creativity to make Nongoma flourish. You deserve to be supported by local governance that works.
I am confident that, through this Budget and IDP, we are moving in the right direction.
I thank you.